An approach that applies especially to our German neighbors could now become expensive in Italy. Italian police are increasingly cracking down on holidaymakers who leave umbrellas, sun loungers and towels on the beach overnight to find a spot for themselves the next day.
If you reserve the beach with objects without being present, you risk a fine of up to 1,000 euros, according to the authorities. Many vacationers leave their swimwear for days, sometimes even tying them to umbrellas with padlocks.
However, this “placemark” on free beaches is illegal, as the police said. Crowds of tourists besiege small bays in Liguria early in the morning to reserve a place for themselves, family and friends.
Dozens of sun loungers have already been confiscated
In Marina di Campo on the island of Elba, the coastguard confiscated dozens of sun loungers, umbrellas and air mattresses. Police tried to track down the owners. Several people were fined, sparking protests. Swimmers reported that no one had told them it was a criminal offense to leave bathing suits on the beach.
Beaches partially illegally occupied
In the seaside resorts of Sabaudia and Gaeta, the police confiscated umbrellas illegally rented on the freely accessible beaches. From June to August this year, 131,000 square meters of free beaches and certain stretches of sea previously illegally occupied were returned to the public, Coast Guard spokesman Cosimo Nicastro reported, according to Milan daily Corriere della Sera.
31,645 checks were carried out in 520 municipalities. 696 criminal offenses were established and fines amounted to almost 366,000 euros.
Less and less space due to tourist boom
Italy is experiencing a tourism boom this summer, just like it was in the golden days before the pandemic. The sometimes high prices of the Stabilimenti – the lidos where you can rent sun loungers and parasols – are a hot item every summer. That is why bathers are increasingly looking for places on the free beaches, which, however, become scarcer from year to year.